Recently a bottle that appeared on Ebay caught my attention. Not because it was rare, but because of the way it was described. The teaser said "GLOPPY TOP old KELLOGG'S NELSON COUNTY whiskey bottle". The "hook" read
"old and authentic amber glass handblown Applied Gloppy Top KELLOGG'S NELSON COUNTY EXTRA KENTUCKY BOURBON WHISKEY W.L. CO SOLE AGENTS whiskey bottle 5th."
Well sir, you've got my attention. I could see it now; pigeon blood red, crude as can be, hammer whittled, with that classic German glop top and a touch of spillover. But wait, the photo shows your basic meat 'n potatoes, straight amber, turn of the century, Kellogg with a sloppy tool job that, I guess if you wished hard enough and you were inexperienced enough, could be passed off as a glop. A quick email to the seller cautioning them on the fact that it was a crude tool top was sent. The text read;
"I'd be very careful about representing this piece as a glop top. Simply, they do not exist in this mold configuration. The only glopped Kellogg's are the red whittled ones that were blown in Germany in the '90s. They are a totally different mold and are blood red; not to be confused with the Riley Patent IT's that were sloppily tooled here in the US and which come in various shades of ambers. I've had several domestics over the years that could be passed off as applied to a novice collector but have always erred on the side of conservatism and described them as "wannabe glops".
This one could come back to haunt you..."
The email was met with a polite thank you And so the auction continues. And true to W.C. Fields observation of a sucker being born every minute, not one but two, suckers continue to slug it out for ownership. So far, the ante is up to $162~ and change for a bottle that might maybe bring $75~ at a show on a stretch, if you could find a buyer. Not bad; if you can get away with it. To the sellers credit, they did add a post script, buried at the end of the listing saying that it may not be a glop after all.
However, this brings me to the point of the article; What, if anything, can be done to hold ebay sellers accountable? Ebay, has been, and continues to be, "The Wild West".
Step right up gentleman, pay your dues and take your chances, a new winner every minute...